The steady improvement of Ardmore High School girls athletics continues.
Starting today, the school will implement a Summer Pride program for girls in grades seventh-12th at Ardmore High School. The six-week program will consist of weightlifting, agility, speed work and fast-twitch muscle work similar to what the Ardmore boys athletes have gone through in their offseason programs.
Sessions will be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11 a.m. at Noble Stadium and the Ardmore Fieldhouse. The second hour of the sessions will spilt the girls into specific sports (cross country, softball or basketball), but all Ardmore girls athletes are invited to attend, regardless of sport.
Girls track and field coach Brenda McHatton will oversee the program along with softball coach Charlie Crawford and girls basketball coach Kevin Kelly.
"We talked about it, and we're gonna try it and see how it works," McHatton said of Summer Pride. "I think it'll give them all the offseason together. It'll definitely give us a head start with the sports that will start when school starts."
Ardmore's girls sports have gone through an upswing in the last calendar year, with strong showings at state in golf (sixth in Class 5A), tennis (fifth) and track and field (seventh), and a 10-win improvement in basketball which resulted in an area tournament appearance.
Ardmore football coach and athletic director Douglas Wendel said the girls offseason programs are something he's been pushing for since his arrival in 2011.
"I feel like it's very, very important," Wendel said. " You need that 2-3 month time where they can lift weights, do agility. It's just as important as the boys.
"Lifting and conditioning is not just a football thing. Team togetherness and camaraderie is enhanced whenever you work out on a volunteer basis."
Summer Pride for boys will start today from 8-9:30 a.m. The Ardmore football team will also go through 7-on-7 sessions with Plainview on Monday and Thursday at 6 p.m.
For more information, contact the Ardmore High School athletics office at (580) 221-3052.
Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD